So this is the situation.
We are now living close to our families – so close that we were able to have a wonderful New Year's Eve party at one of my sister's houses with four of my sisters, their husbands and children and dogs and my parents – first time I have ever seen my parents dance together!
We have a lovely house full of character, in lovely, not-real part of England.
Rupert starts back at work on Monday, (from home, logging into the Australian office), and Sam starts school on Tuesday (after very traumatic shopping trip yesterday to equip him with clothes smart enough for English sixth form.)
As for the girls: we posted off their applications to schools in the area on Monday, along with copies of our passports, a letter from our solicitor to say that we were residing in our house, copies of our plane tickets, copy of utilities bills, blood samples, hair samples, their right shoe sizes and my parent's marriage certificate, names of all pets past and present and our favourite recipe for humous. (The first four are true.) * And now we sit and wait for goodness knows how long, before we find out what schools they will be able to go to – whether they will be able to go to the local schools, or whether we will have to drive them hours in the opposite direction every day. This was a process we were unable to start until we were actually resident in this house, for those of you thinking we should have got our act together sooner. Though we could start signing them up for dance/football, etc, there doesn't seem much point until we know their school timetables, so they are basically “hanging”, till further notice.
As for me: I still have no bank account, due to various fumblings and public holidays, which means that I still have to ask Rupert for cash whenever needed, though this is not as big a problem as it sounds, as I can't go to the local shops or the laundrette without him as I am not insured to drive our car, anyway. (And no, I am not going to sit and wait for hours for bus in frost and wind and rain. I would rather complain about not having wheels of my own.)
I have given up my Australian Business number and name, I have no pupils, no work and there is no point in me trying to look for anything until we know where kids are at school and I know what my chauffeuring schedule is like. I am a non entity in every way, which is sort of liberating, but also quite scary - to look ahead at a completely blank calendar. Doesn't help that I now have massive head cold, because of course, we have been living in Pudding Island* for three weeks.
Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*Whenever I whinge to English people about this surely rather unnecessary amount of red tape, I am told very earnestly that it is important because of the amount of people who buy houses just so that they can get their children into a certain school. To which I think, really???? Am I really to believe that half the houses in Adstock belong to absentee landlords who want to be able to send their kids to the local school, but, even though they have bought house in right area, they will remain living somewhere else, and make their child commute for hours every day? Okay, there might be one or two of these crazy people, but enough to warrant all the extra time and trouble for every school application?
**See Birds, Beasts and Relatives